La Martiniere will soon have a second campus at Behala. The new school will follow the same curriculum but it will be co-educational, unlike the existing separate campuses for boys and girls on Loudon Street. The new school is being built keeping in mind the children of south Kolkata, according to representatives of the school’s board of governors.
The new campus has been planned on the Oxford Mission grounds near Behala Chowrasta. It will come up on the sprawling greens and have all the sporting and extra-curricular facilities like the old campus. According to plans, the school will have classes from nursery to Plus Two and the construction will start soon. It will be affiliated to the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE).
The new campus will also reserve seats for the underprivileged children as Oxford Mission runs an orphanage. “We want these children to have access to English-medium education and study with others. Empowering the poor will be our aim in the new school,” said Bishop Paritosh Canning of the Kolkata diocese of the Church of North India. He is also the chief of the La Martiniere schools’ board.
Asked why La Martiniere is breaking its tradition and introducing co-education on the new campus, Canning said, “When the school was founded by Major General Claude Martin in 1836, the social structure of the city was different. It first started educating boys. When the need to educate girls was felt, they came up with a separate campus for them. Time has changed and the city has space constraints now. We need to make optimum use of available space and find that starting a co-educational school is the most scientific option.” The school also runs separate campuses for boys and girls in Lucknow.
The school administration feels that the old campus serves a limited number of children. Since other old Christian schools are on an expansion mode, La Martiniere should also follow the same. Scottish Church Collegiate School run by the CNI is also coming up with a new campus at Kestopur while St James’ School is also starting a college section.
“Children who live in southern parts of the city will have easier access to La Martiniere brand of education once we start the new campus,” Canning added. A new church has already come up on the Oxford Mission grounds and it will be dedicated on December 6.
This church will be attached to the new campus of the school. The announcement of the new campus will be formally made by the moderator (head) of the CNI, P C Singh, when he comes to the city in December.
Source: Times of India